What a way to spend an evening! – Nostalgia

Evening coach trip from the Labour Club, Arundel Street. They were very popular in the 1960s. Picture: J.A. Hewes/John Toman collection.
Evening coach trip from the Labour Club, Arundel Street. They were very popular in the 1960s. Picture: J.A. Hewes/John Toman collection.

Long before everyone owned a car a coach trip was the thing to go for. There were many afternoon and evening trips available from South Parade Pier for visitors to the city.  

Many social clubs organised such trips and in this photograph we can see members of the Labour Club, in Arundel Street, Portsmouth, dressed up and ready for an evening trip out, perhaps, to the country.

John Toman, who sent me the photograph, tells me the trip took place in early September 1963 and the young girl with white shoes and socks, front centre, was Diane Aldreds.

The roof of the Black Dog pub can be also seen. Let me know if you recognise yourself. 

I cannot let last Sunday’s wonderful win by Pompey against Sunderland go by without my congratulations.

I was going to try and obtain a ticket but I am sorry to say my nerves will not let me stand it anymore. After Sunderland equalised in the last minute of extra time, I’d have had a nervous breakdown.

Remember when we equalised against Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday January 23, 1971? I was in the Fratton End in that crowd of just under 40,000 passionate, roaring Pompey supporters.

Mike Trebilcock scored with a minute to go after Arsenal had led by a penalty.

I thought I was going to faint, I kid you not. I had completely lost my voice cheering Pompey on for that equaliser.

Unless you have been at the old Fratton End you have not experienced anything. The cheering was deafening. 

Sadly, Pompey lost the replay at Highbury 3-2  with Arsenal going on to win the double, become First Division Champions and FA Cup winners beating Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley.

When HMS Hood was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck in May,1941 there were only three survivors. 

But, in fact, owing to fate, you could say there were four.

Robin Hughes joined the Royal Navy in 1938 aged 18 and trained as a signaller.

The day before the Hood was to sail Robin was given orders to travel to Portsmouth for officer training and never joined his mates on the voyage which ended so tragically.

Thus he became what he called ‘the fourth survivor’.

Owing to wartime advancement Robin was promoted several times ending up as a lieutenant commander in just 10 years.

He left the navy in 1948 and travelled to America hoping to be an actor.

He became very successful appearing in more than 60 films and dozens of television programmes.

He died aged 69 in 1989.

Last week I published some photographs of The Queen passing through North End after the 1977 Coronation Fleet Review and asked if anyone knew where the cortege went.

Sue McCrohon tells me it travelled down Gladys Avenue and past Corpus Christi Catholic School where pupils and their parents stood outside.

George Millener of Fareham was interested to see the photograph of what remains of Claxton Street that I put in last Tuesday week. 

George tells me: ‘My mother was born at number 22 and lived there until 1939 when my grandfather purchased a new bungalow in Fareham, which I still occupy. 

‘A council plaque on the lamp post in the street records the name of my great-uncle, George Coster, who was killed in Belgium in 1917.

‘Incidentally, my Aunt Vera, my mother's older sister, worked at the newly-opened U-Need-US on leaving school. I believe she may have been Mr Searle's first employee. I have mentioned this to the present owner, Sandra.’

I have never believed in the saying: ‘If at first you don’t succeed try, try again’.

To be honest, I cannot see the point.

Surely you should know if you are not good enough at something, so why waste your time in doing it again?

I tried to learn the guitar and piano but just knew I could not master them.

When I took up drumming everything fell into place and I  ended up playing in groups, trios and bands for many years. 

In my mid-twenties I took up Association Football refereeing.

After a few games I knew I would be successful and ended up officiating in more than 700 games.

I even officiated in the University World Cup Final at Guildford University. I was presented with a beautiful bronze medal which unfortunately I lost when I went through a divorce.

I could go on with other successes, and many failures, as we all could.

But I just cannot for the life of me understand people who go on and on attempting something they are not, and never will be, good at.